Last week’s Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ) began with Sakurai-san asking Matsumoto-kun what his number one memory from 2012 was. MatsuJun rattles off all the big events they did – Arafes, the Popcorn Live Tour, Wakuwaku Gakkou, and 24-hr TV. But that’s not good enough for Sakurai-san, who asks MatsuJun to narrow it down, and perhaps go for a more private experience.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0002012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0012012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 002

So, MatsuJun answers that his trip to Spain stands out. Apparently, he bought the other members gifts – Barcelona soccer jerseys.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0032012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 004

The topic turns to the guests, who watch as the Arashi members guess about their identities.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 005

They are NTV announcers Masu Taichi-san (桝太一), Kamishige Satoshi-san (上重聡), and Aoki Genta-san (青木源太). My first thought on seeing them was “didn’t we just have an announcer last month?” And indeed, we did, on November 10th. That happened to be a remarkably boring episode, so my heart sank when I saw this bunch. Why more announcers so soon? Well, obviously it’s because NTV wants to promote its morning shows.

It doesn’t really look like the Arashi guys are too thrilled about the announcers as guests, either. Aiba-kun’s expression was actually the most optimistic-looking, and it was fairly neutral:

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 006

The problem was that the Arashi members, in guessing who the guest might be, aimed a bit high. As a result, the announcers actually had to kick things off by apologizing for disappointing them. Even the audience didn’t really react or cheer as enthusiastically as they normally do (though they eventually worked up some good smiles when the cameras turned to them), so there was a clear awareness that these guests were a step down from normal Arashi ni Shiyagare expectations.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0072012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 008

The announcers have to introduce themselves. Kamishige-san is Ohno-san’s age, Masu-san is Sakurai-san’s age, and Aoki-san, recently married, is 29 like Ninomiya-kun and Matsumoto-kun.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0092012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 010

Sakurai-san congratulates Aoki-san on the marriage. Aoki-san points out that Kamishige-san, the eldest, is single, while the other two are married. In response to those introductions, Ohno-san introduces Arashi in a funny way – much like he might have when they had just debuted, and they all take a bow, introducing themselves as single/bachelors (独身 – dokushin).

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 012

Moving right along, Ninomiya-kun does the set change call, and out pop assistants Heisei Nobushi Kobushi.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0142012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 015

And this follows a pattern – Nobushi Kobushi were the helpers in the previous announcer episode, too, and there everyone spent the time sitting around while the helpers asked questions of Arashi and the guests, putting the answers on a board. Sakurai-san asks if it’s the same corner this time, and indeed, it is.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0162012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0172012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0182012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 019

That’s . . . sad. It’s not like it went all that well before. Anyway, the first question is what they have to do as soon as they get up in the morning. How mundane can you get?

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 020

Arashi starts by trying to guess the answer for the announcers, with Ohno-san pretty sure he has it, but everyone ignoring him and Ninomiya-kun pulling his arm down. Evidently, this is a running gag between Ninomiya-kun and Ohno-san.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0212012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0222012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 023

Of course, to complete the gag, Ninomiya-kun is the one who answers and gets the answer right – the announcers practice their speaking/pronunciation.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 024

Somewhat bizarrely, Kamishige-san says he sings Arashi songs to practice – specifically “Kansha Kangeki Ame Arashi” (“感謝カンゲキ雨嵐”). He adds a “-san” at the end of the song title for a laugh.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0252012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 026

Then, for even more laughs, he demonstrates his morning routine of singing the song while washing up:

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0272012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 028

Well, that was interesting. Somewhat disturbing, but still interesting. Much of the talk proved uninteresting (the Arashi answers were pretty much in-character) – at least without subtitles. So if you don’t mind, I’ll focus in specifically on the highlights of the episode going forward instead of trying to detail the conversation (which I would do badly anyway).

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0292012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0302012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0332012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0342012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 036
It started to get more fun about sixteen minutes in, when they brought in weather caster Ueno Yuka-san (上野優花), and demonstrated half-minute info spots with her doing the briefest of weather updates.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0422012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 043

Masu-san and Ueno-san showed them the slick model that they would have to match – the Zip! version:

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0442012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0452012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0462012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 047

Watching it will certainly give you an appreciation for the professionalism of these casters.

Then it was time for the Zoom-in version with Kamishige-san recruiting Aiba-kun as a thirty-second guest:

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0482012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0492012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 050

Then Aiba-kun had to take Kamishige-san’s place, and the other Arashis stood in as the guests, playing stiff and non-responsive kids.

 

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0512012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 052

Back to the talking, the discussion turns to their nighttime fashion.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0552012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0562012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0572012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 058

To help with this fashion phase, they bring out another guest – Don Konishi-san (ドン小西). Which leads me to a question – why is it that supposedly fashionable men all look like Victorian era eccentrics?

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0602012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 061

Konishi-san critiques the fashion choices of the announcers. This is going to be harsh.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0632012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0642012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0662012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 067

Masu-san got the worst results:

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0682012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 069

Then the show suddenly gets a lot better. The announcers want to challenge the Arashi members in two games. The first is a baseball pitching contest, and the second is a Johnny’s intro quiz.

In the pitching contest, Ninomiya-kun faces off against the much more experienced Kamishige-san, each attempting to knock a can from a table with a pitch.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0732012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0742012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0752012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0762012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 078

Who do you think will win?

After that, it’s the Johnny’s intro quiz . . .

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 079

. . . but before that, Ninomiya-kun has to encounter the unknown:

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 080

In this case, the unknown is editor-in-chief of GQ Japan, Suzuki Masafumi-san (鈴木正文). And again, he’s clearly a stylish fellow because nobody would wear something like that unless they were stylish.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0812012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0822012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 083

Out of all things, Suzuki-san’s purpose is to help Ninomiya-kun pick out luggage – particularly, the type which lacks rollers and you have to carry everywhere instead of dragging. In other words, the type that’s a total pain, though it can arguably build some muscle.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0842012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0852012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0862012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 087

He sends Nino-kun to this place (free publicity, here we come) to pick out luggage:

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0882012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0892012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0902012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 091

And . . . yeah . . . fancy luggage time.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0922012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0932012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0942012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 095

Well, there’s no question that Nino-kun travels a lot and could use some luggage. But since he’s already going to be physically taxed whenever he’s on a trip (since it will most often be for concerts and events), I can’t imagine he would appreciate the added inconvenience of a bag without rollers. Sometimes, practicality has to trump style.

We go back to the much-anticipated Johnny’s intro quiz, with Aoki-san alone going up against all five Arashi members. Can one lone announcer really put Arashi, the current pinnacle of the Johnny’s empire, to shame?

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0962012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0972012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 0982012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 099

Aoki-san grabs the first one after a single trumpet blast. This could be trouble. The songs were definitely fair, by the way – no confusing things by going to songs from Arashi’s kouhai or anything they’d have could have trouble with.

2012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 1002012.12.08 Arashi ni Shiyagare 101

This show was better than I expected after finding out who the guests would be, but I really hope they don’t do announcers again for a very, very long time. It was slow at the start, but got more interesting as the episode went along, and ended on a strong note.

They need to do something better with the “Encounter the Unknown” segments. Just having the Arashi guys go out for food or shop for a trivial item is great promotion for the place they go to, but it feels less substantial than it used to be in the first year of the show.

For this episode, the Most Omoshiroi (Interesting) Arashi was definitely Ninomiya-kun, simply because he was at the clear center of most of the action. Sure, he stole the stage from Ohno-san at the start, but then there was the pitching contest and the segment with Suzuki-san, and altogether, it just felt like he dominated the screen time.

Advertisements